If a foreign embassy doesn’t issue ‘Single Status Certificate’ or NOC of an OCI card holder, can Declarations and Certificates be accepted for registration of marriage in India? Ker HC answers

Kerala High Court

Kerala High Court: While addressing a matter wherein an Indian Citizen intended to soleminse and register his marriage with a British Citizen, an OCI card holder, N. Nagaresh, J., held that f a foreign Embassy does not issue a Single Status Certificate or NOC due to the law, rules and regulations prevailing in that country, Declarations or Certificates evidencing the same should be accepted in India for registration of marriage.

Petitioner was an unmarried Indian Citizen working and had approached seeking the quashing of a Circular and to direct respondent 1 — Marriage Officer to accept documents submitted by the petitioner and his bride.

Petitioner’s bride was a British Citizen holding an Overseas Citizen of India card (OCI). Petitioner and his bride decided to solemnize their marriage under the provisions of the Special Marriage Act, 1954.

NOC and Bachelorhood Certificate

Respondent 1 – Marriage Officer informed that for solmenisation and registration of the marriage, petitioner had to produce a No Objection Certificate (NOC) and Bachelorhood Certificates issued by the Embassy of the Foreign Nation concerned.

Bride of the petitioner on returning to Britain was informed that, British Government no longer issue a Certificate of Impediment or No Objection Certificate to British Citizens to get married in Commonwealth Countries for the reason that the marriage in the UK is governed by separate and different legislations in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Hence, she executed a Single Status statutory declaration before a Solicitor, and it was Apostilled.

Petitioner sought to direct respondent 1 to accept the said documents and take appropriate steps for the solemnization and registration of their marriage.

Analysis and Decision

High Court held that if a foreign Embassy does not issue a Single Status Certificate or NOC due to the law, rules and regulations prevailing in that country, Declarations or Certificates evidencing the same should be accepted in India for registration of marriage.

Stating the above, Court remarked that, “no one can be compelled to achieve an impossible task.”

 Since the petitioner had produced the Single Status Statutory Declaration apostilled, the refusal to solemnize and register the marriage by the intending parties, would result in grave injustice.

Therefore, in view of the above Bench disposed of the petition directing respondent 1 to accept the documents submitted by the petitioner and his bride.[Joel K. Yoyakkim v. Sub Registrar (Marriage Officer), WP (C) No. 3055 of 2022, decided on 3-1-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner: Advocate U. Jayakrishnan

For the Respondents: Appu P S, GP

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